Orthodox Christian Studies Minor

The Orthodox Christian Studies minor is an interdisciplinary minor focusing on the faith, history, and cultural significance of the Orthodox Christian tradition.

No matter your major, critical study of the Orthodox Christian tradition offers insights and context for understanding some of the world’s most significant issues:

  • You’ll find a rich trove of artistic, cultural, historical, literary, philosophical, and religious resources for exploring the human condition past and present.
  • Orthodox Christian studies acts as a cultural bridge, connecting religious traditions from throughout Asia Minor, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Russia.
  • You’ll gain a greater familiarity with the range of modern Orthodox cultures—from Moscow to Baghdad —that is essential for success in today’s global environment. 

Students are required to take Byzantine Christianity and can choose from elective courses* across several disciplines, including art and music history, classics, history, modern languages and literature, philosophy, and theology. Courses could include:

  • Byzantine and Western Art
  • Understanding Historical Change: Medieval
  • Russian Short Fiction
  • Byzantium and the West
  • Hospitality and Cosmopolitanism
  • The Crusades

*Courses that meet general college requirements or other major/minor requirements may be applied toward the completion of the Orthodox Studies minor. For example, THEO 3316, Byzantine Christianity, currently fulfills the sophomore theology core requirement.

Fordham University is the only university in the United States that offers a minor in Orthodox Christian Studies, supported by the Orthodox Christian Studies Center. The center’s mission is to foster intellectual inquiry by supporting scholarship and teaching in a way that is relevant to the ecclesial community, public discourse, and the promotion of Christian unity. The center serves as the locus of all curricular, research, and outreach activities related to the interdisciplinary study of Orthodox Christian traditions.

The minor consists of the following six courses:

Course Title Credits
THEO 3316Byzantine Christianity 13
One course with the attribute OCAH: Art History4
One course with the attribute OCHS: History/Social Science3 to 4
Select three additional electives 29 to 12

Art History courses

Courses in this group have the OCAH attribute.

Course Title Credits
ARHI 2360Illuminated Manuscripts4
ARHI 2551Russian Art of the Avant-Garde4
THEO 4420Early Christian Art in Context4

History/Social Science courses

Courses in this group have the OCHS attribute.

Course Title Credits
HIST 1300Understanding Historical Change: Medieval3
HIST 1700Understanding Historical Change: Mideast3
HIST 1750Understanding Historical Change: Islamic History and Culture3
HIST 3270The Crusades4
HIST 3985Ottoman Empire/ 1300-18004
HIST 3986Religion and Politics in Islamic History4
MVST 4009Medieval Jerusalem4
PHIL 3501Ancient Philosophy4
PHIL 3557Confessions of Augustine4
PHIL 4408Hospitality and Cosmopolitanism4
THEO 3332Christians, Muslims, Jews in the Medieval Period3

Students are encouraged to apply courses that meet general college requirements or other major/minor requirements towards the completion of this minor. For example, the core course Byzantine Christianity (THEO 3316) currently fulfills the sophomore theology core requirement.

Should faculty sabbaticals or other developments create a situation that limits the availability of courses, the directors of the program would have the authority to amend the guidelines regarding the distribution of electives.


The minor in Orthodox Christian studies is available at Fordham College at Rose Hill and Fordham College at Lincoln Center.